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Thread: General grocery and HBA deal-related tips

  1. #1
    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    It seems to me that it might be helpful to have a dedicated thread where people can share tips that aren't for specific deals.

    For example, here's one that comes up fairly often for me. YMMV, but at each store where I shop regularly, I've learned that at least a couple of the regular cashiers are relatively coupon- and/or PM-friendly. Accordingly, I don't always pick the checkout lane that looks like it will take the least time to get to the cashier. Instead, depending on how much couponing and/or PMing my shop involves, I'll choose to spend a bit more time in a line where I know that actually checking out will go as quickly and smoothly as possible.
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    Same for me. Makes a huge difference when going to someone who knows what to do with PM'ing or coupons. Or at least someone who doesn't shut down every attempt at PM'ing or using a coupon. Time spent waiting in line for that positive person is gained in less confusion at checkout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjon View Post
    It seems to me that it might be helpful to have a dedicated thread where people can share tips that aren't for specific deals.

    For example, here's one that comes up fairly often for me. YMMV, but at each store where I shop regularly, I've learned that at least a couple of the regular cashiers are relatively coupon- and/or PM-friendly. Accordingly, I don't always pick the checkout lane that looks like it will take the least time to get to the cashier. Instead, depending on how much couponing and/or PMing my shop involves, I'll choose to spend a bit more time in a line where I know that actually checking out will go as quickly and smoothly as possible.
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    I find I have gone to stores in off hours -like the last blue Friday I went at 8.00 a.m (as I have no little ones ,almost senior here)and I was in and out (one cashier but still she was fast ) I also let the woman behind me go as she had about 10 items

    I also do that in shoppers if a line up I have been known to let one or even 2 people go before me ,if I have a buggy full and also coupons .
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    I find the more organized the customer is at the checkout the easier it is to go thu the checkout. Having everything organized on the belt and be set up using things like the shopping list on Flip and we have the coupons set up so that when the cashier goes to scan the item with give her the coupons for that item. I think it is less confusing for the cashier if you are doing a lot of pm and coupons on the same order. We also have our favourite cashiers that are coupon and pm friendly as well as can override any coupons limits that some cashiers seem to have

    I actually like getting in line behind someone that is doing the same as me so I can see if they have come up with any deals that I did not know about
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatdone View Post
    I find the more organized the customer is at the checkout the easier it is to go thu the checkout. Having everything organized on the belt and be set up using things like the shopping list on Flip and we have the coupons set up so that when the cashier goes to scan the item with give her the coupons for that item. I think it is less confusing for the cashier if you are doing a lot of pm and coupons on the same order. We also have our favourite cashiers that are coupon and pm friendly as well as can override any coupons limits that some cashiers seem to have
    I actually like getting in line behind someone that is doing the same as me so I can see if they have come up with any deals that I did not know about
    well said thatdone. being organized is great for everyone. i also learn so much from other great shoppers in lineups.
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    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Here's one in a different vein. While YMMV on this one too, going shopping on Wed. afternoon has allowed me to get a number of advertised meat specials for well below the prices in the flyers. This presumably happens when something hasn't sold as well as expected, and what's left is then cleared out before the new flyer starts with a new featured meat deal.

    Although it hasn't happened for a while now, my best example was a No Frills near me that used to clear out lean ground beef about half the time it was in the flyer for $2.88 to $3. They'd start by pink-stickering it for 30% off on Mon. or Tue., then have a clearout on Wed. at half off the reduced price. So, for well over a year, I basically got all my LGB for ~$1 a pound.

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    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Here's a tip I posted before. It's an example of why I started this thread as a place to share general tips rather than just having them scattered around in various places.

    Counting rolls of toilet paper can be pretty inaccurate. For instance, if N rolls of regular Royale 2-ply and Royale Velour 2-ply are the same price, buying the former means you get about 60% more sheets. This is because the manufacturer uses the same word, roll, for two very different numbers of sheets, even within the same brand family.

    That said, cost per sheet isn't the only consideration. Factors like quality and personal preference, both of which are at least partly subjective, matter too, as does whether you use more or fewer sheets of various brands.
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    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Be aware that for frozen products like chicken nuggets, wings, ribs et al, the weight includes the sauce, if any. What's more, it can be quite a bit of the total weight. I've weighed a few of the sauce packets that come in some brands of nuggets and wings. They've all been over 100 gm, up to ~125, which is quite a bit when the total weight can be as low as ~600 gm.
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    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    If you buy lean ground pork and have a food processor, you might want to try chopped pork loin as an alternative. Vac-sealed half loins go on sale fairly often for $1.50 to $2 a pound. In my area, the sale price of LGP seldom drops below $2, even at the Asian indie stores.

    The texture of chopped isn't quite the same, but can be adjusted to suit your preference, from quite chunky to more paste-like, by varying the chopping time. While the % of fat on a loin can vary somewhat from one to the next, I find it's almost always lower than in packaged lean ground pork. If I want extra lean or super-lean, or if I happen to buy a piece with more fat than I'd like, I simply cut off some of the fat before chopping.

    There is a caveat; vac-packed loins are brined (aka seasoned), which basically means there's some salt in them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjon View Post
    If you buy lean ground pork and have a food processor, you might want to try chopped pork loin as an alternative. Vac-sealed half loins go on sale fairly often for $1.50 to $2 a pound. In my area, the sale price of LGP seldom drops below $2, even at the Asian indie stores.

    The texture of chopped isn't quite the same, but can be adjusted to suit your preference, from quite chunky to more paste-like, by varying the chopping time. While the % of fat on a loin can vary somewhat from one to the next, I find it's almost always lower than in packaged lean ground pork. If I want extra lean or super-lean, or if I happen to buy a piece with more fat than I'd like, I simply cut off some of the fat before chopping.

    There is a caveat; vac-packed loins are brined (aka seasoned), which basically means there's some salt in them.
    My mom does this too. It is good because you can control how lean/fat you want your ground pork.

  11. #11
    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Using a coupon doesn't always save money, at least not if saving means spending less than I would have if I didn't have the coupon. To illustrate this, let's say I usually buy brand A of a certain product when it's on sale for $1, and that there are never coupons for it. Premium brand B is on sale for $1.50, and I have a 50-cent coupon, so I buy it instead.

    By the definition above, since I spent the same $1 I would have spent if I didn't have the coupon, I didn't save any money. Instead, I got the premium brand B for the same amount I would normally have paid for A.
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    Here is something i do that im sure alot of people here do
    My example is fictional but you can see by the numbers why i do it on real offers

    EG Buy 20.00 on Pepsi and receive 10000 points
    RCSS reg price is 7.25 but I can pm it down to 6.50. If I buy 3 using the pm the total would be 19.50 (short of the 20.00) so I would have to buy another one which would total 26.00 (but I do not want that many nor to I want to put out 26.00). So what I sometime do is pm 2 at the 6.50 and buy the third one at the reg price of 7.25 (you could actually pm to a different store for as low as 7.00 to still qualify) for a total of 20.25 (qualifying for the total of 20.00)This raises the price per unit but reduces my cash outlay
    Last edited by Thatdone; Fri, Feb 7th, 2020 at 12:58 PM.
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    I do the same with cheese. Buy blocks of cheddar, grate in food processor. I then package 1 cup in a sandwich size baggie. Goes in the freezer and taken out as needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arjon View Post
    If you buy lean ground pork and have a food processor, you might want to try chopped pork loin as an alternative. Vac-sealed half loins go on sale fairly often for $1.50 to $2 a pound. In my area, the sale price of LGP seldom drops below $2, even at the Asian indie stores.

    The texture of chopped isn't quite the same, but can be adjusted to suit your preference, from quite chunky to more paste-like, by varying the chopping time. While the % of fat on a loin can vary somewhat from one to the next, I find it's almost always lower than in packaged lean ground pork. If I want extra lean or super-lean, or if I happen to buy a piece with more fat than I'd like, I simply cut off some of the fat before chopping.

    There is a caveat; vac-packed loins are brined (aka seasoned), which basically means there's some salt in them.

  14. #14
    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    For anyone who doesn't use the app (or similar e.g. Reebee), I find it very useful in a couple of ways. One is for PMing since using it means I don't have to carry paper flyers around, just my phone, which I take whenever I go out anyway, not just shopping.

    The other is the shopping list feature. Putting brands and products on it that I look for often or am looking for atm brings up all the ads for each one at stores in my area. YMMV, but for me, this is much quicker and easier than looking for all those brands in each local flyer. I still look at them, but I only have to focus on things that aren't on my list.

  15. #15
    Smart Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    If you want to control and/or reduce your spending on groceries / HBA or in any other category, the first and single most important step is to track your spending in that category. This isn't sufficient by itself; you also need to set a budget. However, there's little or no point in budgeting if you're not going to keep yourself aware of where you stand against the amount you've budgeted.

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